Lemon & Lime Possible Health Benefits

Lemons: Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

Immunity

“Vitamin C is plays a role in immunity and helps neutralize free radicals in our body,” said Rumsey. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and may protect the integrity of immune cells. Vitamin C helps protect leukocytes, which produces antiviral substances.

Heart health

“Folic acid is said to aid in preventing strokes and may contribute to helping cardiovascular health by lowering homocysteine levels,” Rumsey said. A 2010 meta-analysis published in The European Journal of Internal Medicine found that results from clinical studies examining folic acid and heart attacks were inconclusive but folic acid consumption can result in a modest improvement in stroke reduction.

Vitamin C, too, is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, said Rumsey. A 2015 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at more than 100,000 people and found that those who ate the most fruits and vegetables had a 15 percent lower risk of developing heart disease. Those with the highest vitamin C levels in their plasma had even more reduced rates of heart disease.

Scientists theorize that vitamin C may have cardiovascular benefits because it is an antioxidant that protects against dangerous free radicals. It also may lower bad LDL cholesterol and keep arteries flexible, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“Studies have also shown the effect of limonin on lowering cholesterol,” said Rumsey. In a 2007 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, men and women who had high cholesterol were given limonin and vitamin E daily for a month and their cholesterol levels lowered 20 to 30 percent. The researchers think that limonin reduces apolipoprotein B, which is associated with higher cholesterol levels.

Kidney stones

Lemons and limes contain the most citric acid of any fruits, which makes them beneficial to those suffering from kidney stones. According to University of Wisconsin Health, citric acid deters stone formation and also breaks up small stones that are forming. The more citric acid in your urine, the more protected you are from forming new kidney stones. Half a cup of pure lemon juice every day or 32 ounces of lemonade has the same amount of citric acid as pharmacological therapy.

Cancer

A 2011 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Preventionfound that lemon extract applied to breast cancer cells induced cell death. The lemon extract was applied in-vitro, but the results may suggest powerful cancer-fighting properties in lemons.

“There are numerous studies being conducted to understand the role folate plays in cancer reduction,” Rumsey said. A 2007 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that folate’s possible cancer-reducing properties are likely linked to its role in the production of substances that silence cancer DNA. The study points out, however, that some research has suggested that in some cases high levels of folate could actually encourage cancer cell growth. The authors write, “Folate may provide protection early in carcinogenesis and in individuals with a low folate status, yet it may promote carcinogenesis if administered later and potentially at very high intakes.”

Limonins have also been linked to a decrease in cancer risk, said Rumsey. A 2012 article in the Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomicslooked at limonins in breast cancer cells and found that they could be a helpful aid to chemotherapy.

Pregnancy health

“Folate is essential for pregnant women in order to prevent neural tube defects,” said Rumsey. While folate is present in prenatal vitamins, consuming it through whole foods is an excellent way to make sure the body absorbs it.

Lemons, peels and weight loss

Rumsey said, “Lemons are a great, low-calorie way to flavor drinks and food.” And indeed, lemons, lemon water and lemon peels have become popular with dieters. A 2017 Scientific Reports study of short-term juice-based diets, all of which had lemon juice as a primary ingredient, saw that participants’ intestinal microbiota associated with weight loss had improved, their vasodilator nitric oxide had increased and the oxidation of their lipids had decreased, resulting in improved wellbeing overall.

Rumsey added that the peels also contain many nutrients. “Grating the peels and adding to salads, chicken or fish dishes can add a citrusy flavor. Peels can also be blended into smoothies or soups.” But she emphasized against treating them like a magic bullet for detoxing and weight loss.
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Liver disease

New research in BioMed Research International suggests lemons may help damaged livers. The 2017 animal study found that rats who had severely damaged livers from alcohol intake saw liver improvement after consuming lemon juice. Lemon juice significantly inhibited negative effects associated with liver disease. More study is needed to determine if humans would see similar protective effects.

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8 Amazing Benefits of Lime

#1 Limes can benefit your digestive system.

The carbohydrates in limes are mostly made of soluble fiber in the form of pectin. Soluble fiber is known to slow digestion, which keeps your blood sugar stable, and inhibit colon cancer tumor growth. Pectin is also known to promote healthy cholesterol levels, according to LiveStrong.com. And like other citrus fruits, limes contain a nutrient in their peels and oils called d-limonene, which can relieve symptoms of indigestion and GERD. For more information about the benefits of d-limonene and pectin, check out “Improve Your Cholesterol Numbers with Citrus Fruits.”

#2 They’re healthy for your heart.

Not only do limes contain pectin, which positively benefits your cholesterol levels, they’re also rich in vitamin C, which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Limes also contain potassium, which, according to the American Heart Association, can help to relieve tension in the walls of your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. For more on potassium, check out “Potassium Benefits Your Heart, Bones, and More.”

#3 Limes lower your cancer risk.

As mentioned earlier, the d-limonene found in citrus fruits have multiple health benefits and one of them is cancer prevention. Limes also contain a flavonoid called naringenin, which, according to a recent study, has strong cancer-preventing properties. Citrus pulp and juice also contain high amounts of beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are plant compounds found to prevent malignant tumors from forming in rodents.

#4 They provide protection against kidney stones.

Research confirms that the citric acid in fruits like lime, lemon, melon, and orange may prevent kidney stones from forming: “Patients with low urinary citrate should be encouraged to increase their consumption of foods high in citric acid, such as lemon and lime juice,” according to information posted by the National Institutes of Health. For more on kidney stone prevention, check out “Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones.”

#5 Limes are good for your complexion.

Dermatologists love vitamin C for its positive effect on the production of collagen, a protein that helps prevent skin from wrinkling and is often broken down by exposure to the sun and pollution. For more about collagen, check out “14 Foods That Prevent Wrinkles and Improve Skin.”

The juice of limes and lemons can also be used as a natural remedy for acne because of their astringent and antibacterial properties, which can exfoliate the skin and prevent pores from getting clogged.

#6 They protect against anemia.

Anemia is a blood disorder often caused by an iron deficiency. Limes don’t contain much iron, but because they’re high in vitamin C, they can help increase the amount of iron your body is able to absorb.

#7 Limes have immune-boosting properties.

The vitamin C in limes can boost your immune system, thus reducing the duration of your cold. Studies have shown that limes can have the same effects on influenza as well.

#8 They may help relieve asthma symptoms triggered by the common cold.

Vitamin C comes to the rescue again: Studies show that those who consume higher amounts of vitamin C have a lower risk of developing asthma. A study published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology found that participants whose asthma attacks were triggered by a respiratory infection were able to decrease the occurrence of an asthma attack by 78 percent by taking one gram of vitamin C a day.

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